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6 month old cries for every nap

(12 Posts)
Mushroom2012 Wed 31-Oct-12 11:51:13

My baby has never been good at going to sleep. We used to rock her, but she would cry in our arms and so we thought she might as well cry in her cot than break our backs. We can now lay her in her cot at night after a feed and she will drop off as she is so tired (the clocks changing hasn't helped). However, we still have such a problem in the day. I've tried putting her down earlier or later, but when I put her in her sleep bag she screams. I read a book to calm her and then leave and she starts again. I have been leaving her to cry as when I go back in it makes her worse. we have been doing this for 3 weeks now, but the crying is turning into a screaming and I can`t take it any more.

I really watch the clock as she has never been one to give any signs of being tired apart from when its too late and she starts to get frantic and doesn`t know what she wants hence I usually put her in her cot 2 - 2.30 hours after she last woke, apart from the morning nap where I know she can`t go as long.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 31-Oct-12 11:57:02

Maybe she's not tired yet or ready to go to just a morning and afternoon nap?

Mushroom2012 Wed 31-Oct-12 12:05:34

She is up at 5.30 and only sleeps for 30 minutes on the dot for each nap. I think 2 naps is too little for her, but thanks for your suggestion.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 31-Oct-12 12:18:55

30 minutes isn't a very long nap. Would she napped longer if you went for a long walk? I tried this with my second to get her in the habit of napping and she will now sleep at that time regardless of whether she is out for a walk or in pushchair (naps are fine in this house. Night waking however :-( zzz )

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 31-Oct-12 12:21:48

Maybe leave less time between waking and next sleep? My 5 and a bit month DS isn't much of a one for sleep cues either, or I'm just really bad at reading them, so I note the time he wakes up then count 1.5 hours. I then change his nappy, wrap him in the same blanket every time to try and get a sleep association with it to help the process along, and feed him in a darkened room. He'll usually be asleep before he's been awake for two hours IYSWIM. If he's awake any longer than two hours he gets to the frantic stage you describe. More than 2.5 and it's into overtired land from which there is little escape...

He also won't nap for longer than 30 mins at a time but if I can get about 4 naps into him in the day like this, he's a happy chappy when awake and nap times are fairly painless.

Mushroom2012 Wed 31-Oct-12 12:37:12

When I take her for a walk in the pram or car its still only 30 mins, I can`t get her to go any longer (once a week she may throw in one longer nap). She is a creature of habit smile I have tried shhhing her back to sleep to but she won't have it.

I used to give her more naps a day when she was 4/5 months but then cut them back to 3 as I couldn't stand putting her down for that many naps and her crying every time. I`m willing to try this though and at least see if putting her sooner again will help, but if she cries the same I`ll have to go back to 3 as the less I have to listen to her the better as it eats me up inside. I feel like I`m torturing her for every nap.

Mushroom2012 Wed 31-Oct-12 14:23:48

ElphabaTheGreen did you have problems with him crying at naps? What worked for you? we have a small nap routine - grobag, story then put this lullaby light thing on and then leave, that's when it starts. Other than that she is such a happy and smiley little girl at the moment.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 31-Oct-12 14:27:55

Mine wouldn't settle at that age without milk (we're bf so fed before sleeps) or movement. Either meant they napped well. There's a difference between grizzling a little (which I let mine do at night) and full on crying too. I wouldn't be happy a small baby proper crying that age but its hard to know what they need!

Mushroom2012 Wed 31-Oct-12 15:00:27

She is also bf. I was advised not too feed to sleep as she started waking more and more. We got up to 8x in the end as she expected to be fed every time she woke so we have worked hard not to always feed her to sleep (naps included) and she now only wakes 2-4 times a night. I will now only feed her 2 times and then if she wakes more we will shh her and this seems to have cut her frequent awakenings, hence trying not to feed to sleep.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease - how did you overcome feeding to sleep in the end?

Fairylea Wed 31-Oct-12 15:05:40

I'd try and be more relaxed about it. Maybe she just doesn't need to nap so much. If she cries go and pick her up and put her under the play mat with a dummy and see what happens. If she's tired she will sleep. If she isn't she will use some energy having a kick about.

My ds is 5 months and gets up at 5am everyday and has 3 naps between then and 5.30pm (bedtime) of no more than 20 mins each. That's it. My dd was exactly the same. I just sit him in the bouncy chair and let him watch whatever I'm doing.

I don't think some babies need as much sleep as people think.

Mushroom2012 Wed 31-Oct-12 15:15:08

She doesn't keep still, she's crawling at the moment so that uses a lot of energy. She won't take a dummy I keep trying. I think she just can't switch off to relax. Problem is when I leave her without a nap (the other day she went 6 hours and cried for 2.5 hours in the evening) then she gets really erratic and doesn't know what she wants, but I will also try this and keep her up longer you never know.

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 31-Oct-12 15:51:39

The times he has cried before naps has been when he's got overtired, and that was inconsolable screaming. The only thing that used to work for that was white noise via an app on my phone combined with rocking in the pram. I admit that I feed to sleep, especially for naps, or they wouldn't happen at all. He wakes up about three times in the night for a big feed (both sides which he never does during the day) so I guess he needs the feed rather than just assistance back to sleep. If he's still awake after the night feeds, he'll settle back to sleep with about 5 mins pat/shh.

He's going to be starting a few half-days a week at nursery soon, so I await with interest to see how they get him to sleep!

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